Why take Homebuyer Education?
COTC's homebuyer education classes provide an opportunity to learn about the home buying process in a neutral environment. Buyers who have taken home buying classes are more confident when asking questions and making decisions about home-ownership and loan products. Education gives the buyers the tools they need to avoid predatory lenders and possible foreclosure.
What will I learn in Homebuyer Education?
The class covers all aspects of the home process:
Did you know?
Many homebuyers do not realize how much help their state has to offer them when buying their first home. The following are examples of the first-time homebuyer programs that most states offer such as home loan, tax credit, education, and grant programs.
Mortgage Revenue Bond "State Bond Loan" Programs
One of the best programs available throughout the United States is a Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) program, also known as a "State Bond" loan. Through these state-sponsored home loan programs, eligible homebuyers can obtain a below-market interest rate from their local Housing Finance Agency (HFA). They can be paired with an FHA, USDA, or Conventional loan.
In general, to qualify for a state bond loan you must:
not have owned a home in the past three years (unless in a target area)
meet the applicable income limits which vary by county
purchase a home that is below the county's purchase price limit
continue to occupy the home for as long as they keep the loan
While other restrictions apply and vary by state, these are the main requirements to qualify for the state bond loans in any of the 50 states. To continue benefitting from the below-market rate loan, you must occupy the property as your primary residence and if you sell it in the first nine years and your income has gone up substantially (more than 5% a year over the maximum limits) you may be required to pay a federal recapture tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
This home loan program is available in every state and it can be paired with FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional home loans products.
Down Payment Assistance Programs
One of the biggest challenges for most first-time homebuyers is coming up with enough cash to cover the required down payment and closing costs.
The required cash to close can really add up. For example, with an FHA loan you may need to come up with 3.5% of the purchase price for a down payment and a few more thousand dollars for closing costs.
Fortunately, to help lower the amount of cash you need to buy a home, your state, city, county or non-profit housing agencies may offer a Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP). DAPs can significantly lower the amount of cash you need to have saved in order to purchase a home, as well as, lower your ongoing house payment to make homeownership affordable.
To qualify for these program typically the households must:
meet specific income limits
must not have owned and occupied a home in the past three years
must meet all other applicable program requirements
Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program
As an alternative to the State Bond Loan program, a few, but not all, of the state housing finance agencies also offer a federal tax credit from the IRS known as the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program.
The MCC program offers income-eligible first-time homebuyers an ongoing federal tax credit. While the precise amount of the tax credit varies by program administrator, the program provides eligible homebuyers a dollar for dollar reduction in their federal tax liability for as long as 30 years.
In general to qualify for the MCC program, a borrower must also meet the following requirements:
must not have owned and occupied a home in the past three years (unless buying in a target area)
must meet the applicable income limits which vary by county
must purchase a home that is below the county's purchase price limit
must continue to occupy the home and keep the loan to claim the credit
Other restrictions apply and vary by the state, city and county who administer the program.
To claim the MCC tax credit you must occupy the property as your home (primary residence). Also if you sell the home it in the first nine years and your income has gone up substantially (more than 5% a year over the maximum limits) you may be required to pay a federal recapture tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Check with your state and your lender for details.